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My Irritable Uterus

^ Doesn't that title sound like something that came straight from The Vagina Monologues?

(Use the words "uterus" and "vagina" within the first 15 words of a blog post? Check and check!)

My doctor's office is all pink, and they play chick flicks in every room. "Titanic" Day was obviously a great day.

You know, this pregnancy was just rolling along smoothly, with some of the normal pregnancy "bumps," if you will. Some exhaustion here, a little (well, a lot of) rib pain there, *maybe* some gas every now and then, when...WHAM! That was all halted in it's path.

Before I go into the details, I'm fine, Baby is fine, we are FINE, thankfully! So here's the story:

I received a package in the mail a few weeks ago (I was 22 1/2 weeks pregnant at the time) that was quite heavy. I knew not to pick it up, but I thought if I was on the ground, and if  a friend was helping me, I could pull it out of the box. Then all of a sudden I started feeling some sharp pains in my lower abdomen, so I promptly stopped. The pains went away after a while, so I figured I had just pulled something.

A few hours later I was at the yoga studio, getting ready to teach my normal vinyasa class, followed by a restorative class I was subbing. I was running through the restorative poses (read: gentle, EASY poses), and those sharp pains started happening again. Let me clarify that these pains were different from the normal pregnancy round ligament pains I'd been feeling throughout my time being knocked up. They were definitely more severe. With 25 minutes until my yoga class, I started to panic. I texted my husband, who told me to call the on-call doctor (at this point, it was the weekend so my doctor's office was closed). The on-call doctor told me to go to the Emergency Room. Greeeaaat. Thankfully, my angel of a friend Sean swooped in with barely any notice and covered my two classes.

Jon and I went to a regular old ER, where they saw us, did a fetal doppler (heartbeat was phenomenal, not to brag on my kid or anything) and told us we needed to go to the hospital five minutes down the road because there wasn't an OB on staff, which I needed since I was past 20 weeks (but not before having to pay a $250 copay! Which it would have been nice if they'd told us there wasn't an OB when we walked in! So we didn't have to pay it, but that's a story for another day! Namaste! Deep breaths! Om shanti shanti!)

We get to the hospital ER, and a lady walks down with a wheelchair, which I adamantly refused to get in (clearly I was still delusional at this point). We get up to a super comfy hospital room. The nurses come in, and I'm like, "Listen, I was pulling on something heavy, which I know was dumb, and it really hurt my lower abs, but the pain went away, and then I was doing yoga a few hours later, and the pain came back, and I was told to come here. I'm pretty sure I just pulled a muscle, and you'll probably agree and tell me to go home, but I figured it's better to be safe than sorry!" The nurse asked me how much pain I was feeling on a scale of 1-10. "Right now? A one. Seriously, it's not even bothering me at the moment." They then hooked me up to a bunch of monitors, and were like, "...(silence) ...Did you know that you're having contractions?"


Then the nurses started conversing with one another, and I heard the phrase "pre-term labor," and I think that's about the time I started crying hysterically and having a panic attack. All I could think was, "If something happens to this baby, it's completely my fault."

I tell ya, in the Jeopardy category, "Worst Thoughts to Have Playing Over and Over in your Head," that might be number one.

The nurses assured me that everything would be okay, and that pre-term contractions were normal. But since I was still pretty early in my pregnancy, and the contractions were frequent and a bit longer than they'd like them to be, they needed me to chill the eff out, drink a shit ton of water (I literally drank like 4 pitchers and was subsequently up all night peeing), and get those suckers to stop. All in all, we were there for about four hours, then sent home with a prescription to take it really easy for a bit. Which meant me canceling my trip I was supposed to take a few days later to Florida for work/Disney for fun. :( :( :(

That is where I *thought* the drama ended, but au contraire!

Last Wednesday night I started feeling the contractions again (at this point I was 24 1/2 weeks along). I chilled out, drank a shit ton of water (you know how the rest of that story goes), and when I woke up they were gone. Great! Then later that day, I went out to run an errand, and as I was in the parking lot, I felt them creep up again. So I went home (never did get that pasta sauce and those heavy duty trash bags *sigh*). After a bit of time passed, and they were still happening, Jon told me to call the doctor's office, to which I was promptly told to go to the hospital immediately. UGH.

After lots of monitoring, and one really horrible fetal fibronectin test later (just do yourself a favor, and don't ever Google it), I was informed that everything was completely healthy, my likelihood of delivering within two weeks was 0, but oh since my contractions wouldn't stop and were 2-3 minutes apart, I had to stay overnight.

Y'all, I had literally never been hospitalized in my life, and now I found myself at 2 for 2 within 2 weeks.

My wonderful doctor who will be delivering the baby came by to check on me the next morning. He told me about my "Irritable Uterus" (different from Braxton-Hicks for those of you who even know what those are), and gave me a prescription of Ibprofen (which I've stopped taking, and they've now given me a calcium blocker that I can't pronounce, to take as needed), not driving, and refraining from various physical activities (exercise, cooking, cleaning, etc.),  for at least until Week 32, and then he would reassess.

Since then, I've been working from home, contracting regularly (but not alarmingly, and also they don't hurt at all), and trying not to lose my damn mind/feeling in my legs. I also had my 33rd birthday last weekend, which took the cake as Tamest Birthday Ever (but still great, because my parents and in-laws came over bearing Polish food!). This is turning into a huge exercise of letting go of my attachments - exercising, being independent (my husband, family, and friends have been incredible in their support and help), cooking, and yes, even practicing/teaching yoga. My goals this week have been to walk to the mailbox at some point and to go to church on Sunday, but seeing as how I can't even walk to the bathroom without my uterus getting cranky, I'm trying to be realistic. This experience has also been a huge exercise in not blaming myself. I asked Jon the other night if he thought I caused all of this because I tried to pull something out of a box. He told me no, my uterus was probably going to get surly at some point. That was just the event that got the ball rolling. My husband may not be a doctor, but he's smart, so I choose to believe him. And I have to keep telling myself that and offering myself grace. (Also I asked my doctor who is an actual doctor, and he said nope, I just have a "nervous uterus," and that's the way God made me, the end).

Phew! IN SUMMATION, life can really throw you for a loop sometimes. Thankfully, Baby and I are doing all right, we just have to take it really easy for a while. Fortunately an irritable uterus is not indicative of premature birth, so laying low will help Baby cook for a while, and hopefully to full term. We've still got a ways to go, but with my support team behind me, and with the yogi tools I have at my disposal, I feel confident I can muscle through this (even if my muscles are completely atrophied at the end, namaste). Thanks for reading along, and if you don't hear from me for a while, it's probably because nothing eventful has been happening here on my couch, which is a good thing! If you have any suggestions on TV shows to binge, good books to read, great board games for two to buy, or ways to touch up my roots naturally at home (the struggle is real right now), I'd love to hear them in the comments section!

xo and namaste,

Kim (and her Irritable Uterus)